Hubble Spots Four Spiral Galaxies in Horologium

A mesmerizing new photo captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope unveils a captivating ensemble of galaxies in the small southern constellation of Horologium. Among these galaxies are NGC 1356, LEDA 467699, LEDA 95415, and IC 1947.

This Hubble image shows four spiral galaxies in the constellation of Horologium: the large, prominent spiral galaxy on the right side of the image is NGC 1356; the two apparently smaller spiral galaxies flanking it are LEDA 467699 (above it) and LEDA 95415 (very close at its left) respectively; and finally, IC 1947 sits along the left side of the image. Image credit: NASA / ESA / Hubble / J. Dalcanton, Dark Energy Survey / DOE / FNAL / NOIRLab / NSF / AURA / L. Shatz.

This captivating Hubble image showcases four spiral galaxies within the Horologium constellation. The prominent spiral galaxy on the right side is NGC 1356. Flanking it are two seemingly smaller spiral galaxies, LEDA 467699 (above) and LEDA 95415 (very close on the left). Along the left side of the image lies IC 1947. Image credit: NASA / ESA / Hubble / J. Dalcanton, Dark Energy Survey / DOE / FNAL / NOIRLab / NSF / AURA / L. Shatz.

According to Hubble astronomers, contemplating this image poses an intriguing challenge in determining whether two galaxies are truly in close proximity or merely appear so from our Earth-bound perspective.

At a first glance, it may seem that NGC 1356, LEDA 467699, and LEDA 95415 are closely associated, while IC 1947 appears more distant.

However, it is important to remember that 2D images like this one merely provide an indication of angular separation, revealing how objects are distributed across the night sky.

They cannot accurately depict the actual distance of these objects from Earth.

For instance, despite the apparent proximity between NGC 1356 and LEDA 95415, there is a staggering separation of nearly 300 million light-years between them. NGC 1356 is situated approximately 550 million light-years away, while LEDA 95415 is roughly 840 million light-years distant. Therefore, LEDA 95415 is not as much smaller than NGC 1356 as it appears.

In contrast, even though NGC 1356 and IC 1947 seem far apart in this image, IC 1947 is only about 500 million light-years away from Earth. The angular distance between them in this image equates to less than four hundred thousand light-years, making them much closer neighbors in 3D space than NGC 1356 and LEDA 95415.

This captivating color image was created by combining separate exposures taken in the visible and infrared regions of the spectrum. Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) and the Dark Energy Camera, mounted on NSF’s VĂ­ctor M. Blanco 4-m telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile (a program of NSF’s NOIRLab), were utilized for this purpose.

Various filters were employed to sample different wavelengths, resulting in a vibrant color representation where each monochromatic image associated with a specific filter is assigned a distinct hue.

Exploring the wonders of the cosmos, space telescopes like Hubble continue to unveil breathtaking celestial marvels, enriching our understanding of the vast universe we inhabit.

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